WOZ Disk Image Reference Version 1.0 (January 17, 2018) by John K. Morris.
Why yet another Apple II disk image format?
This is probably the question many of you reading this document are asking. It basically comes down to the simple fact that none of the currently existing formats accurately represent
the way data is encoded on an Apple II floppy disk. There is a place for a format that is an
accurate representation of a bitstream that is also the exact length of a track so that it can be
looped correctly. And since we are creating a format, it is also a great time to ensure that we
organize the data in the image file in a way that allows for easy unpacking with as little
memory and processing overhead as possible - this provides more performance usage in
hardware and software emulators.
What benefits come with using the WOZ format?
We seem to be doing just fine with the current file formats, why would we want to support the WOZ format? The big benefit is being able to successfully run copy protected software if
you follow the emulation guidelines presented in this document. The second benefit is that
the WOZ format is actually much simpler to implement than many of the other disk image
formats. WOZ files also contain metadata about the disk image - such as disk name, product
name, publisher, system requirements and language - that you can use to display additional
information in your emulator.